People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions

NJ Gov. Chris Christie Whacks Teachers Union On "Morning Joe"

CJ Westerberg, April 26, 2010 8:12 AM


5/13/10 Update: From The Washington Post
4/25/10 - Update:  From The New York Times here

White Hot Controversy On April 13th "Morning Joe"

Union Head Sends E-Mail To "Pray For Governor's Death"

Here's the scene:   N.J. Gov. Chris Christie (R), presenting his case of a state which is drowning in red ink, where "adult decisions" have to be made to cut budgets bringing down the deficit and where one of the most contentious battles in education is taking place.

In fact, check out these gem quotes (from first video at 4:45 mark - not from official transcript):

Christie:  The head of the teacher union sent an email around asking members of union to pray for my death!" (at 5 min. mark)

Christie:  "The union has decided that their raises and their bully image at the statehouse is more important than saving their members' jobs".

The proposal by Christie:  No job cuts in the education sector if teachers contribute 1 and 1/2 percent of their salary to pay for benefits (approx. $750. per year) and have a one-year pay freeze.  If not, approximately 1300 jobs will be cut.

Two videos below from yesterday's show (4/14), the first has the "main conversation" and is the must-watch:

Video #1:   Host Joe Scarborough, always sharpening his knives against the teacher unions (although he shows restraint when teacher union head Randi Weingarten visits the show), is joined by the very controversial NY Times columnist and author, Andrew Ross Sorkin (info here and here), co-host Willie Geist, and ex-Boston Globe reporter Mike Barnicle.

Sorkin, known for his outspokenness and assurance, was uncharacteristically confounded at about the six minute point,  expressing dismay about the fact that teachers in NJ did not pay the 1 and 1/2 percent of salary for benefits, as did other public employees in NJ.  Sorkin went so far as to say:  I'm "shocked".  I "take back what I said" before.  Hmmm....  then check out his statements at the 4:45 mark on the second tape.

(Both Scarborough and Barnicle mentioned that their mothers were teachers to clarify that their ire was against union negotiations, and not the teachers.)

Video #2:  Joined by The Washington Post reporter and Pulitizer Prize winner, Gene Robinson, and Former White House Press Sec'y Dee Dee Myers, the conversation continues (first 4 min. has the meat).   Surprisingly, Robinson sides with making tough decisions.   Myers smartly talks briefly at the 1:40 mark and especially at the 5:15 mark how Christie has to make a "compelling case" about "shared sacrifice" to the extent that it doesn't only extend to teachers...and that the wealthy also do their fair share.  She clarified that she wasn't saying this was the case here, but to be aware that this is the much larger picture in this highly charged political and economic climate.

Videos below:


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